Monday, November 10, 2008
Letter from Coffeyville Army Air Field, Coffeyville KS
25 Jan 1944
I'm getting an early start this week so maybe I'll get to write you two letters instead of your usual one. We are still flying every minute possible but have finally caught up with old man time so maybe they will let up pretty soon. They aren't doing it today though, because we are flying with about a thousand foot ceiling and a two or three mile visibility. The weather started closing in yesterday morning and has really turned into soup today. They called our night flying off last night but have us in the air this morning in worse weather than we had last night. You would really have enjoyed some beautiful scenery I saw yesterday morning. I went up above a low overcast and broke through on top to see a beautiful picture of the sun shining down on the clouds. They looked like a big layer of white cotten [sic]. It really is a wonderful sight.
I've finished up with everything but my instrument flying and night flying. Have six more hours of night flying about about eleven of instruments before I'm finished with Basic. I've taken all my checks except in the instruments and have passed all of them. If I can get by the instrument check I'm in advanced. The first thing we get in advanced is another tough physical exam so I'm beginning my new worry period in about another week. Once I pass that physical I have those wings and bars practically in my hand. That will be a great day, believe me!
Our luck finally ran out the day after I wrote you last. One of the boys cracked up on the take off and was killed. It was our first fatal accident and I hope the last. The kid got caught in prop wash, stalled out, and was pretty badly burned in the fire that followed. There was nothing anyone could do until the fire was out and by that time it was a little late...
Don't worry about me though because I'm planning on coming back...
Must close now. Tell Dad hello for me and both of you write soon.